To truly understand a Chinese person, you must first explore the culture and society that shaped him or her.
A generic disclaimer: It’s always a risky business when you’re making generalizations about any group…let alone, a population of over a billion.
The politically-correct are always ready to jump on people for “stereotyping” and making blanket generalizations. But that’s what Sociology is—understanding human behavior at the aggregate level, not trying to predict individual behavior (incidentally, in my wildest dreams I never thought that I would get any practical use out of my major!).
But my goal isn’t to give you an academically researched sociological study. Instead, these are mostly observations and ramblings from a guy who has spent considerable time trying to reconcile the differences between American and Chinese culture.